On December 4th, 2020, the Swiss Federal Council approved a Service Mobility Agreement between Switzerland and the UK (SMA), to ensure easy access to the respective markets. In fact, on December 31st 2020 the transitional period of Brexit expired and starting January 1st 2021 London definitively exited the European single market and the related Customs union. Therefore, the bilateral agreements that Switzerland has concluded with the EU, including the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, will cease to apply to the United Kingdom.

The SMA, which contains provisions on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, provides that Switzerland will maintain the SECO notification procedure applied hitherto for UK service providers for periods not exceeding 90 days per year. For British citizens already in Switzerland, their acquired rights will prevail and they will not be required to initiate any new procedures. The same for Swiss citizens currently already in the UK, who will simply have to apply to the UK authorities for a new residence status, but will still be excluded from the points-based system (PBS) effective from January 1st, 2021 for foreigners who want to be admitted to the English job market.

However, from London, facilitated market access will be granted to Swiss lenders in about thirty sectors including, for example, consultancy firms, IT experts or engineers.

The Agreement was signed on last December 14th in London by Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin together with the British Minister for International Trade Elizabeth Truss.

Our staff remains available for further clarifications.

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